Valve has just made its classic team-based online multiplayer game free-to-play.
Yes, you can now download Team Fortress 2 and take to the maps as a medic, engineer, scout or pyro at absolutely no cost to your wallet whatsoever. And this isn’t a vastly limited thing, there’s no restriction on play time, what classes or maps are playable and so forth.
Valve is hoping to achieve two things here: boosting the TF2 server population to make finding matches easier and hence the game more enjoyable for all, and hoping micro-transactions will tempt new free-to-play TF2′ers.
Because there are some differences between a free and premium account, naturally, with the latter defined as anyone who has ever spent money on the game, including actually buying it, or buying an item in the in-game store.
A free account has a 50 slot backpack, with premium boosting that to 300, and the latter has access to rare items. Free players only get a limited number of blueprints (although they can apparently access nearly every weapon through achievements and crafting).
Oh, and only premium players have full trading capabilities, whereas freebies can just receive items.
Valve notes it’s taking action to ensure that free accounts won’t mean griefers and cheaters can easily return to spoil the party after getting banned.
The company notes: “We’re increasing our focus on making sure that hostile players can’t ruin your fun. Specifically, we’ll be keeping a close eye on players exploiting the ability to make infinite free accounts to bypass bans. We’ve built systems that’ll allow us to measure and track what these players are doing, and respond quickly.”
If you want to have your Team Fortress 2 cake and eat it, then best get over to the website now where you can download the game via Steam.
Of course, that’s the other good reason to make the game a freebie – it’ll get more people onto Valve’s Steam platform…